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Monday, December 07, 2009

Life on the other end of retail

As somebody who has worked retail, I know all too well about the perils of holiday shopping. The meanest people come out of the woodwork, and they can spoil everything for the ones that are extremely nice around the holiday season. So that's why I'm very thankful that about 97 percent of my Christmas shopping was done online.

I stayed away from shopping on Black Friday mainly for three reasons: I wanted to have a nice lunch with my family before I headed back to Dallas, I spent four hours straight in my car back to Dallas, and I rested for a little while before heading out to Denton for the Cursive show. So I didn't have to brave long lines or sit in traffic. The day after Thanksgiving was just another holiday travel day for me.

Between that day and today, I took advantage of Amazon's deals and didn't mind the three or four days it would take to get my stuff in the mail. Everyone on my list has something really cool awaiting them, and I took advantage of some good deals as well (Under the Dome for $15? Score. The Fly on Blu-ray for $9? Score.). As somebody who remembers the days before the Internet, I'm still impressed with the convenience that the Internet brings.

But there a couple of things I had to buy in person due to the nature of the present and whom they are for (my twin nieces). I was able to pick these things up as I purchased some baking goods for a big, semi-secret baking attempt I'll do later this week. Luckily I didn't have to wait in a long line at Super Target in the middle of last Saturday. Matter of fact, the girl who checked me out was standing in front of her lane waiting for somebody to check out.

Where I'm going with all this minutiae is to counter all those reports you hear about how terrible it is that holiday shopping is down this year, last year, five years ago, and blah blah blah. Believe me, the places I go are not ghost towns. There are plenty of people, but I just prefer to mainly shop at off-peak times. So many stores open early and stay open late to accommodate more people and their schedules.

Plus, if anything, the Internet gives more people more options instead of restricting things for more people. I like how I can get everything that I want and not get ripped off in the process. And I definitely take enjoyment in not having to deal with standing in a line stuck behind some irate parent that waited until the last minute to buy something for his or hers child. Funny how parents are the ones that tell their children to not wait until the last minute to do something.

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